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August 21, 2011

Nogizaka46 chooses first 36 members, concerts to begin this year

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Written by: tokyograph

Image from: Official website

Nogizaka46, the “official rival group” to AKB48, has chosen its first 36 members. The final round of auditions were held over the weekend of August 20-21 at Sony Music Entertainment‘s Nogizaka Building, with 56 girls in the running for the 36 spots.

Nogizaka46 was created by AKB48’s producer Akimoto Yasushi, in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment. Akimoto has billed the group as a rival to the popular AKB48, and the number 46 was chosen with the meaning of “Even with fewer members than AKB48, we won’t lose.”

A total of 38,934 young women around the country applied for the Nogizaka46 auditions. Out of the 56 remaining in the final round, Akimoto selected a group of 36, with an average age of just over 16 years old. Akimoto also announced the 16 provisional “senbatsu” members, which came as a surprise to the girls as well.

The members are listed below, in Japanese alphabetical order. Profiles are available on the official Nogizaka46 website.

Akimoto also revealed that the group will begin holding concerts before the end of this year. The concerts will have a first half and a second half, separated by a break. During the break, the audience will vote on which members will perform during the second half. Akimoto commented that it will “feel like holding a senbatsu election every day.”

As previously announced, the group will also have their own variety show on television starting in October.

Sankei Sports
Official website

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